Bob Woodward (2018) Fear: Trump and the White House, New York: Simon & Schuster
Fear and anger! Fear and anger! Fear and anger! Fear is personified and ethnicized. Intellect is demoted to offering just opinions. Fear-mongering and anti-intellectualism are then packaged together in sex and pomposity. The troops have been indoctrinated for war. Nation states are not the primary enemy. Globalists are, both domestically and internationally. The U.S. has already entered the early stages of a civil war.
In an op-ed in The Washington Post yesterday, Timothy Perry Shriver, chair of Special Olympics, opined, “The question isn’t whether we are a nation divided by anger and fear. The question is what we’re going to do about it.” The opening was a tease because he wrote about integrating handicapped and regular individuals involved in sports.
“The news and social media obsessively detail how we all hate one another, presenting a fresh new hell each week…Young people have found an antidote to divisiveness. They are uniting around a new idea, drawing closer, jump-starting social barriers and bringing outsiders in.”
As Americans pursue physical integration in sports, large swaths of Americans advocate divisiveness based on ethnicity and religion. The enemies are globalists, liberals, integrationists and pluralists. In its traditional antisemitic trope, “It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.” The global power brokers are almost always Jews.
Donald Trump is not an antisemite. His own daughter is Jewish. However, when he was running for president and was campaigning against globalists, whom he held responsible for the loss of manufacturing jobs in the American heartland and the loss of manufacturing to foreign states, in the ads called “Donald Trump’s America” that appeared with his voice over were Janet Yellen, then the Federal Reserve chair, Lloyd Blankfein CEO of Goldman Sachs and, of course, the ubiquitous liberal and globalist, George Soros. All just happen to be Jews.
A deranged antisemite, anti-globalist and anti-liberal nut case, Robert D. Bowers, shouting “All Jews must die,” killed 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue on shabat, the very shabat when the weekly portion begins with teaching respect for strangers and the importance of empathy for others. The deranged killer armed with an assault rifle and Glock handguns insisted that Trump himself had sold out to the globalists and the Jewish world conspiracy. Mr. Wooden Spoon, Vice-President Mike Pence, in all his pompous certitude, intoned in his tone-deaf voice that the divisive attacks on Muslims and Mexicans and liberals and globalists were inconsequential to such violent events, “People on both sides of the aisle use strong language about their political differences, but I just don’t think you can connect it to threats or acts of violence.”
Trump insisted that that the racist protesters at Charlottesville who were shouting, “Jews will not replace us,” consisted of many good people, but this had nothing to do with the worst antisemitic incident in American history. Donald Trump did not instruct Cesar Sayoc to send 14 pipe bombs to Democrats and liberals or tell Robert D. Bowers to murder Jews on shabat at their house of worship. Trump did insist that the caravan of Central American trudging up the spine of Mexico was promoted and financed by Democrats. Donald Trump had nothing to do with a white supremacist killing two worshippers in a Black church.
Donald Trump, of course, is opposed to such random acts of violence. At his rally in Indianapolis of Saturday, Trump insisted that, “With what happened early today, that horrible, horrible attack in Pittsburgh, I was saying maybe I should cancel both this and that. And then I said to myself, I remembered Dick Russell, a friend of mine, great guy, he headed up the New York Stock Exchange on September 11th, and the New York Stock Exchange was open the following day. He said — and what they had to do to open it you wouldn’t believe, we won’t even talk to you about it. But he got that exchange open. We can’t make these sick, demented, evil people important.”
Except Peter Dick Russell was not the president of the NYSE. Dick Grasso was. Perhaps it was Freudian slip that Peter Dick Russel happened to be a racist senator from Georgia. Perhaps it was just a slip of the memory when Trump said that the NYSE did not close, when it did close, not just for a day, but for more than a week. Facts! Shmacks! Correlations are not causal. But they also may not be coincidental.
Was it a coincidence that Cesar Sayoc, the would-be pipe bomber, cozied up to his “Russian brothers” at the very time in 2015 that Trump was expressing a very favourable view of the Russians and insisting that they had not interfered in American elections? Did Bower’s claims that Jews were the children of Satan and his use of the code “1488” – 14 signifying a white supremacist slogan with 14 words and 88 the Nazi-symbol for Heil Hitler – have nothing to do with the Charlottesville racist demonstrations that Donald Trump minimized?
Correlations are not causes. The extraordinary rise in racist and antisemitic incidents have evidently nothing to do with the fact that Bowers explicitly cited HIAS, the American Jewish immigration society, for helping potential refugee claimants. “Why hello there HIAS! You like to bring in hostile invaders to dwell among us?…HIAS likes to bring in invaders that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
Just that weekend, on a shabat about welcoming strangers, the Tree of Life, etz or aitz chaim, Synagogue was celebrating the work of HIAS on behalf of refugees. When the Torah is put back in its place, Jewish congregations across the world sing, “It is a tree of life to all who grasp it, and whoever holds on to it is happy; its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace. (Proverbs 3:17-18)”
Last November, a white supremacist anti-gay gunman killed 49 people in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. Another racist gunman killed 26 worshippers in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in Texas. Three years ago, another with supremacist killer murdered nine African Americans in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. But the main enemies to be feared by Americans are Latino would-be Convention refugees. And Muslims. And…And… But never white supremacist antisemitic and racist right-wing Americans.
Jews are behind all the problems. Jews. Liberals. Globalists. Pluralists. Antisemitic incidents in 2017 in the U.S. rose by 57%.
However, Trump does not want to raise the importance of white supremacists by cancelling a rally or even insisting on two minutes of silence for the victims. After all, raising their importance might diminish his, and even associate their acts with his words. Donald Trump denounces such acts, condemns them as the work of deranged souls, and insists that something must be done to stop such hate crimes, but that something will have nothing to do with changing the language he uses, the objects of his attacks, the lies he tells, the degrading of others. “We need to apply the death penalty with greater speed.”
“It’s a terrible, terrible thing, what’s going on with hate in our country and frankly all over the world.” Donald Trump, you are correct. Are you even capable of stopping for just a moment, reflecting for just 30 seconds and asking yourself whether the hatred and anger you stir up, the false objects of your attacks, have anything to do with these mass murders? Of course not! Donald Trump ordered that the American flag be flown at half-staff until Wednesday, sunset, out of “respect” for the victims.
Do they not know, as Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch observed, that, “Words are like sparks to the gasoline of disturbed minds. These words can kill.” Trump at his rallies often goads people to unjust actions and even vigilante violence. But, of course, Trump could not be an inciter, an abetter, of racist murder in a country that worships in idolatry at the shrine of automatic rifles.
Antisemitic vitriol has exploded over the last two years. Neo-Nazis spout Hitler-era propaganda. Jews and Blacks and Mexicans are caricatured with hateful images. “George Soros” has become a name identified with being Jewish, being a liberal, being a globalist so it is no surprise that he was sent a pipe-bomb. As Alexandra Schwartz – I urge you to read her – wrote, “Anti-Semitism has burrowed into the American mainstream in a way not seen since the late nineteen-thirties and early nineteen-forties, when it also fed easily with conservative isolationist fervor and racism.”
Nigel Savage, founder of Hazon, the Jewish lab for sustainability currently in Israel, wrote that, “The fault line now is not between Israelis and Palestinians, or Democrats and Republicans. It’s between those who strive to use language with honesty and empathy and a desire to make things better; and those who use language to inflame, incite, exaggerate and demonize. That is what our tree of life has taught us these two millennia – that language, and respectful discourse and truth are utterly central to being Jewish.”
With the help of Alex Zisman